The United States and Canada conducted the 17th round of Columbia River Treaty regime negotiations from May 16-17 in Kelowna, BC. In this latest negotiating session, the two delegations discussed managing the following issues: flood risks after the Treaty regime changes in September 2024, planning for Treaty hydropower operations, integrating Canada’s desire for greater flexibility to Treaty dam operations, mechanisms for incorporating Tribal and Indigenous input into Treaty operations, and opportunities to strengthen Treaty ecosystem provisions and collaborate on ongoing salmon reintroduction studies.
After negotiations concluded, the delegations visited the kł cp̓əlk̓ stim hatchery near Penticton, BC and participated in a sockeye salmon release ceremony hosted by the Syilx Okanagan Nation. The ongoing effort to reintroduce and rebuild stocks of sockeye salmon in the Okanogan sub-basin of the Columbia basin demonstrates and models the close transboundary collaboration that can be achieved and will remain necessary to balance ecosystem, economic, and flood risk management issues.
The U.S. Department of State leads a negotiating team consisting of representatives from the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. delegation also included expert-advisors from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.
On May 31, the U.S. government will hold a virtual listening session to engage the public about treaty regime modernization. To register for this listening session on Wednesday, May 31, from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (PST) go to . Direct questions regarding this event to [email protected].
The next negotiation session will take place in June.